Web video sensation YouTube.com, which serves up more than 100 million videos online a day, suffered a six-hour breakdown Tuesday — its first-ever unplanned outage, a company spokeswoman confirmed.
“We are experiencing a temporary site outage due to a database-related issue,” YouTube spokeswoman Julie Supan said in an e-mail to Reuters five hours after the outage began.
“To clarify and ensure accuracy, the site is not down for maintenance,” Supan said in a statement released shortly before the site recovered. “This was an unplanned outage.”
Access to the YouTube site was cut off around 7:30 a.m. PDT and was only restored around 1:30 p.m. PDT, or six hours later, according the spokeswoman.
The breakdown came as Internet audience measurement firm comScore Networks Tuesday released data showing how YouTube surged into the No. 40 ranking in July among U.S. Web sites, with 16 million visitors, up 20 percent just since June.
Rival measurement firm Nielsen//NetRatings estimated that YouTube had 20 million visitors in June, reflecting differences in how the firms count Web traffic rather than any slowdown in visitors.
The YouTube site specializes in short — typically 2-minute — homemade, comic videos created by users. YouTube serves as a quick entertainment break or viewers with broadband computer connections at work or home.
In June, 2.5 billion videos were watched on YouTube, the company said last month. More than 65,000 videos uploaded daily at that time to YouTube, up from around 50,000 in May.
Late-night followers of the Internet video phenomenon YouTube are familiar with the San Mateo, Calif.-based company’s quirky habit of taking its site offline for several hours every few weeks for scheduled database maintenance or software upgrades.
Normally, these planned outages are signaled in advance to users and accompanied by a joke graphic that makes light of the downtime.